Blurting In A & L
Author: Thomas Dreher Posted: 19.11.2002; 01:23:45 Topic: Question 2 Msg #: 615 (in response to 418) Enclosure: Prev/Next: 614/616 Reads: 72062
The art exhibitions (in museums and galleries) and the art criticism offer an established combination of contexts for the presentations of art with theories on art which reflect a field of art as a discourse for experts which tries to define its limits: The experts in- and exclude on a theoretical level as the White Cube does it on a pragmatic level.
Members of Art & Language reflected these limitations in the sixties and seventies as unnecessary limitations and resisted to them. They placed their `practice as reflection´ into the art context. Within the established framework of the presentation of art the unusual reading situations of the index projects implanted an alternative context into the museum: They offered explicit kinds of world observation and criticised the precoded ways of producing, seeing and reflecting art. They offered exits out of the limitations of a closed field of art (discourses and forms) via new concepts for observation (as a construction of ways for self orientation via mental operations).
In the seventies the next step of the members of Art & Language was the analysis of the social and economic processes of the institutionalization of art. Members of Art & Language problematized within the institution(s of art) the split between the economic aspects of collecting art which favored objects for possession and the conceptual writing practice, which reflected these economic contexts and their influences on the production and the distribution of art as contextual aspects ripe for a change. The writings and the presentations of Art & Language within exhibitions demonstrated the paradoxes and restrictions of the established status of art. Members of Art & Language conceptualized self embedding into the art context as a possibility to invert it from inside.
These efforts failed on the background of Thatcherism and Reagonomics. But today they offer us a think tank for another time with other media and other possibilities. Thomas Dreher (TDreher@onlinehome.de)